Thursday, February 17, 2011

MRI or Am I You?

There really is no clever way to work MRI into the title of a blog in less than a few minutes. Maybe if I had some more patience. Or more brainpower.

Coming up short on both right now.

Today Bennett is at the Cleveland Clinic, getting his brain scanned yet again for his 'routine' follow-up Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan to check to see if his brain tumor, the Stage II Oligoastrocytoma that was removed on August 27th, 2009 to stop his Infantile Spasms (and incidentally to keep the boy amongst the living...there is THAT), is starting to grow back in any way.

There is always that collective 'holding of the breath' on this day, wondering what the results will be. Obviously you want more than anything to get the results quickly and you want the results to be 'negative regrowth'.

And as each month passes the chances of regrowth go down, but that does not (as any parent with ANY kid with ANY problem can grok) mean that your fear goes down at the same percentage rates.

And, just like every other day that he has his MRI, there will always be the discussion about the right side of Bennett's brain. That 'indeterminate' reading of on area on the right side, that never changes in size or shape, but is always there, some funky oddity that Neuro-Oncology and Neuro-Surgery cannot seem to agree upon about whether it is something we should or should not be concerned about.

How do I, as Bennett's father, process that information? What should I DO with that information? I carry enough guilt around with me regarding my I adding to it by doing nothing about this 'indeterminate' area on the right side of Bennett's brain? It isn't causing any EEG spikes or seizures, it isn't growing, and according to all the research I've done we all have abnormalities all over our bodies.

In other words, my fantastic body (yeah RIGHT) if scanned would show some abnormalities in it that would differ from YOUR fantastic body and of course my brain if scanned would show some abnormalities in it (now that I can BELIEVE, Mister) that might not ever be able to be explained...ever.

But am I blowing it here by NOT pursuing this not pushing to find out more? But how can I know more? Who can I push? Those who are reviewing the scans have been pushed to the brink of their knowledge? Who else would you ask? What other roads do you drive down?

Drives me crazy, MRI Day.

I haven't gone in quite a while, have I mentioned that? It has become even less so now, especially now that Jenifer's sister has moved so close to Cleveland. There is even less reason for me to go, as she can go up, stay with her sister, even take Carter who loves to party with his cousins, then just jaunt over to the clinic (about a 20-25 minute car ride), stick Bennett in the MRI like a Pop-Tart, have a quick meet with the Neuro-Oncologist or the Epileptologist, and then BAM...back to the sister's house.

Saves a ton of dough on hotel, as we were paying like $170.00 a night to stay at the hotel that was next to the Clinic before, and we just don't have that kind of extra scratch right now. Times be tough all over.

Jen's cool with it, and it allows me to stay here and work, as these usually occur during the work week when I have something going on that is time sensitive. But I always feel guilty about it, like I am not living up to my end, doing my part, so while she's gone I try to do a couple of things here for her so when she comes back she goes 'Hey that's awesome.'

Working on a couple of those surprises tonight.

Speaking of surprises, yesterday afternoon there was a biggie. Normally on these trips, she bypasses the house on her way from picking Bennett up after work, goes to Carter's after-school Day Care, then keeps right on going to her sister's.

To my surprise, she calls me and says she is stopping by the house because Bennett pooped in his diaper and she wanted to change him. (How in the hell we are going to potty train him I simply do not know...)

I thought it was awesome, cause it meant I could see them both in the afternoon (since I won't be seeing either until late on Saturday) and I'm all for a couple of extra hugs since the morning ones are so rushed anyway.

They come in, and I have everything ready for changing. But as we take his pants off, we realize that he had a Transformers-style blow-out.

There was WAY more than meets the eye.

In fact, it had gone all the way down his legs, some had even gotten on his shoes that we had not seen. We then noticed that there had been some dropping OUT of his pants on the floor where he had come in to the house.

It was a Poopapalooza.

And of course we had to get him cleaned off with the wipes, get his clothes off, try to get him up to the shower, all the while trying to keep him calm, which he wasn't, keep his hands out of his mouth, which was by itself a monumental task.

It was...unpleasant.

Your values change dramatically in situations like these of course. The clothes he was wearing suddenly lost their value to us, we just threw them away with the dirty diaper and wipes and changing mat that was covered in excrement.

Afterward, as Jen was getting him dressed and I was cleaning up the area where he was changed, I was shocked that shit was pretty much everywhere in the immediate vicinity. How does one kid that small generate so much poop? I went outside, and there was even pieces of it leading from the car in the driveway, in the garage, all the way to the door. Not major huge turds or anything...but just chunks of poop.

It just floored me.

By far this was the worst poop disaster I had ever experienced with a kid. At least the few times he's popped off in the bathtub it was contained. Gross...but contained in a small space. This turned our house into Poop Central. In fact, since he had escaped Jen's grasp upstairs at one point (I did not know this until later) and still had a couple of places of muck on him, later that night around 10:00 PM or so I go upstairs and step in a piece of poop.

I had my boots on...I learned long ago never, EVER, to walk barefoot in this house.

I always have my shoes on or flip flops. ALWAYS. That's usually because of toys or food that Bennett scatters around. I had to take the boot off and then go clean it out, and you know how the bottom of a boot is textured right? sucked.

After they left, I found myself wondering if we'd be doing something like this when he was 5...or maybe 8...or maybe 15? He's making some progress in communication, but it is a snail's long will it take before we can take a real swing at potty training him?'s a good thing Jen DID stop to change him. I cannot imagine the horror show that would have transpired had she done what she might have normally done and tried to change him on the road. That would have been...I don't even want to think about it.


Wow...did I radically shift gears in the middle of this blog or what? Sorry. Won't happen again.




  1. Okay, so I know this probably wasn't meant to be comical post necessarily, but...

    I couldn't control myself when I saw the mud-lady photo! It reminded me of an incident with Austin where he got it ALL OVER his crib, bedding, face, hands, you name it. He had a bad habit of reaching down his diaper. After that, he wore onesies for a month! And he was nearly 3! lol

    But, seriously, hope the MRI goes well and shows no regrowth.

  2. Holli, in our world, EVERYTHING must have some comical slant, cause if there isn't one, that's when the insanity takes over.

    I'm glad you laughed. I try to make people laugh all the time when I write, and if you did, I feel good about that, and feeling good? Well, it feels good.

  3. Laughter is good. It's the one thing that can make you realize that while you're ankle-deep in shit, at least your toes are warm...

  4. I hope that Bennett's MRI goes smoothly and the results are still clear and good. I can imagine the turmoil that an unidentified abnormality causes you. I would wonder about it all the time too.

    As for the poop, well that's just gross. LOL I'm sorry you stepped in it, although thank goodness you weren't barefoot!!

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  6. For me,if we didn't have the laughter,I would be in a puddle of tears,most all the time.

    Sending you all good things from California as you wait on the results.Knowing all too well that pit that is just sitting heavily in your gut.Wishing you could let the guilt thing go,cuz,coming from the queen of guilt over here,I have yet to see any good to come out of it.

    Hoping you accomplish those surprises in your down time.I sure know for me,the little things that get done equate to so much more than the tasks themselves.

    And now to the poop ... cannot tell you how many times this has happened to us.Usually out in public.Nice how it works out that way.Last one was at the neuro's office last month.Such a sight I was in the bathroom,football hold on the girl,since she doesn't stand and well,a disaster.Clothes in the trash and me,wondering how the hell will I do this with much bigger of a child.Washed my hands.Dried both her her and my tears and exited the bathroom as if nothing happened.And laughed.Had to laugh.Not much else left to do.

  7. I hate to say that I laughed when I read this post, but I did. A tearful laugh. Because I've been there. I've been your wife, having to "stop at home" when you're on your way to an MRI, for God's sake and can't I just get a damn break? The whole poopalopooza -- I don't write about it, but when I'm changing my nearly sixteen year old's diaper I wonder about the meaning of life in general -- it is definitely those times where my perhaps god-given sense of humor sustains me.

    I hope that MRI went well and that you can let your fears rest for a bit, at least.

  8. Joyce running upstairs real quick, there might be customers stealing in the store right now, but a blogzilly fix is what I need. Actually I just gave your blog address to a dad who just came in with his wife. He needs you. Anywho, the flip flops...OMG where do you get these photos. Love them everytime. The poop...yea we all been there...a time or two.

  9. Done the poop thing myself. Just read this at work and laughed out loud. Couldn't help it. The guy in the office with me thinks I'm crazy :)

    Good luck with the MRI.

  10. Wow...if this is your worst poop story've had it pretty good. Cause the bad poops stories are the ones where you find your child playing in AND eating it. Blah. Yuck. Need to vomit now.

    By the way, I've purchased size 5 onesies online (because that is the only place I could find them) to help prevent that. But, hopefully, it doesn't come to that. The pottytraining will happen. Sooner or later. Sophie decided a few months before her 5th birthday that she was going to do it. My suggestion...try when the weather gets warmer. Take a little potty outside and let him run around with just undies on. Be consistent. If he has an accident, clean him up and put a new pair of undies on again. Try it for a week. If it doesn't work, give it a few months and try again. Sophie finally got it on our umpteenth try.

  11. Oh I havent' been posting much on blogs much less reading, but I think you've got me hooked again. I have not laughed so hard when reading this post. Again, I'm sure it wasn't funny when it was happening but you "paint" a very good picture. BTW - We've done that too...just thrown the clothes away because i just couldnt' imagine cleaning them up! Also, you know Daniel and that he is non-verbal, but he are having great success in the potty training none the dont' think it won't happen! Its just a matter of getting the timing and going every two hours, then he'll learn how long it is before the next potty time and get the idea. Glad I came back here to read..gave me a good laugh

  12. I noticed a pretty significant slowdown on your blog...but glad a little poop humor brought you some joy. :P


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